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Rival Visions: Reportorial Approaches, Audience Preferences, and New Frontiers
Unformatted Document Text:  Rival Visions: Reportorial Approaches, Audience Preferences, and New Frontiers 14 by the reports of retired manufacturers who have made their own fortunes at home and report impressions gained by superficial observations of leisurely travel; by correspondents who come in by one door, as it were, and go out by the next .” 28 His own comparatively fleeting passages through the Philippines left his corpus of expertise pale by comparison to Worcester’s vividly colored accounts to head hunters and jungles, and Worcester’s deeper knowledge, though resting on a thin, badly cracked foundation, carried greater value for popular audiences than Barrett’s surface-skimming attraction to elite news sources. The zoologist’s claim to scientific credibility, unproblematically extended to humans, was shored up by the visual support he was able to present for his claim to superior insight. The same photographic evidence buttressed his earthy allure as a miner of the “down and dirty” periphery, and served to trump Barrett’s equally ardent but less elaborately adorned appeal as a trader in “hard won” knowledge. In 1898, Barrett was seemingly in the right place at the right time, but circumstances intervened to place Worcester more favorably: Representational power resided in Washington, New York, and Chicago, not Manila. But location was not all: In subsequent years, even from the Philippines, Worcester managed to dominate the direction of popular discourse about the new frontier by tapping into long-established tropes of savagery that had served previous imperial advances most effectively. The times may make the man, but times are also made by men. The role of the key interlocutor is often cast in shadow by the message he or she relays, but it is only through the actions of individuals that institutions can give rise to new policies, perceptions and pathologies. The continuities and disjunctures between ambitious miners of the new global imaginary serve to illustrate some of the fault lines and foundations of an

Authors: Vaughan, Christopher.
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Rival Visions: Reportorial Approaches, Audience Preferences, and New Frontiers
14
by the reports of retired manufacturers who have made their own fortunes at home and
report impressions gained by superficial observations of leisurely travel; by
correspondents who come in by one door, as it were, and go out by the next .”
28
His own
comparatively fleeting passages through the Philippines left his corpus of expertise pale
by comparison to Worcester’s vividly colored accounts to head hunters and jungles, and
Worcester’s deeper knowledge, though resting on a thin, badly cracked foundation,
carried greater value for popular audiences than Barrett’s surface-skimming attraction to
elite news sources. The zoologist’s claim to scientific credibility, unproblematically
extended to humans, was shored up by the visual support he was able to present for his
claim to superior insight. The same photographic evidence buttressed his earthy allure as
a miner of the “down and dirty” periphery, and served to trump Barrett’s equally ardent
but less elaborately adorned appeal as a trader in “hard won” knowledge.
In 1898, Barrett was seemingly in the right place at the right time, but
circumstances intervened to place Worcester more favorably: Representational power
resided in Washington, New York, and Chicago, not Manila. But location was not all: In
subsequent years, even from the Philippines, Worcester managed to dominate the
direction of popular discourse about the new frontier by tapping into long-established
tropes of savagery that had served previous imperial advances most effectively. The
times may make the man, but times are also made by men. The role of the key
interlocutor is often cast in shadow by the message he or she relays, but it is only through
the actions of individuals that institutions can give rise to new policies, perceptions and
pathologies. The continuities and disjunctures between ambitious miners of the new
global imaginary serve to illustrate some of the fault lines and foundations of an


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